Colorado Bend State Park is one of the newer additions to the Texas State Park system, having opened its gates in 1987.
waterfalls and mountains
Flora and fauna
The January average temperature is 46.2 °F (7.8 °C), while the July average is 85.9 °F (31.9 °C). Historically, the first freeze is on November 20th, and the last freeze is around March 11.
The only way into the park is via a 6-mile paved road that meanders through the park providing great views of the landscape and wildlife.
Fees and permits
The park has many trails for hiking and biking, but some trails are off limits for cyclists.
Many a great birding opportunity on the trails, and a chance to see the rare Bald Eagles that nest around nearby Lake Buchanan.
- Hiking. There are over 15.8 mi (25.4 km) of hiking trails in this state park. Wear sturdy shoes and make sure to go out prepared, the trails are quite isolated, as is the park in general.
- Cycling. With 14 mi (23 km) of trails, you can have a wonderful time getting lost on a mountain bike adventure. The trails are often vacant, and the terrain varies from a typical Hill Country fare to an almost subtropical ambiance.
- Swimming. In the Colorado River, at your own risk.
- Kayaking. Rentals are available at the office. This portion of the Colorado River is very slow moving and easily accessible for rowers of all skill levels, though excitement may be lacking, and the lack of winds make for a slow trip!
- Fishing. White Bass spawn in the river from January to April, making for excellent fishing. In fact, the state park used to be a fishing camp!
- Tours, ☏ . Some tours are beautiful, but only accessible via guided tour for safety and conservation reasons.
- Gorman Falls Tours. Sa 2PM (weather permitting).
- Gorman Cave Walking Tours. Sa Su 9:15AM (resource and weather permitting).
- Crawling Cave Tours. First Sa of each month (resource and weather permitting).
The office sells firewood and other odds-and-ends, but not much else.
Bring enough food to last you, as there are no stores within a significant distance.
Lots of water! Public display or consumption of alcoholic beverages in the park (and all Texas State Parks) is prohibited, and you can and will be thrown out if you cause too much trouble. Also, alcohol dehydrates the body. Stick to water or sports drinks.
No cabins or shelters are available in this park.
There are two tent camping areas, with sparse amenities. This is a state park to visit if you want to know what camping is all about. Campsites feature picnic tables, fire rings, and posts to hang lanterns on so you can see at night. There are water faucets nearby both camping areas, but no electrical or sewage hookups. If you are looking for a place to take an RV, this is not it.
There are two backpacking sites for those who really enjoy getting off the beaten trail. One site is 1.3 miles away from water and compost toilet, the other is 6. If you want to see Texas the way Texas was when the first settlers came, this is a great opportunity. Ground fires are prohibited in these areas, and the closest town is 35 miles away, so make sure to pack enough containerized fuel. Remember, leave no traces.
As with anywhere in Texas, the weather is unpredictable. Be prepared for the heat, and stay hydrated. This area is also prone to flash flooding. As the State Park Service best put it: It is advisable to leave the park if heavy rain is expected. Make sure to watch for snakes on all trails and near the riverside camping locations, as the grass can be quite tall after a rain, and before maintenance can mow. Fire ants are also a problem in the area, so make sure to scout the area well before pitching a tent! This is a wild area and skunks, raccoons, and other (generally) harmless creatures might enjoy rummaging through your garbage as you sleep, so make sure to bring a container with a secure lid, lest you be woken up by mother natures little bandits!